Charter Parent: With Adults, It’s All About Money; This Is Supposed To Be About Children

As you can see from the post below, I had an informative visit with Ms. Dreya Teel, her son Jared, and staff members from KIPP NJ’s Life Academy. That post was all about Jared, but towards the end of the day Ms. Teel, a long-time Newark resident and single mom of four boys, and Farida Mallah, Jared’s teacher, shared with me their thoughts about New Jersey charter school politics. Newark remains the epicenter of New …

Jared’s Got Something Special and KIPP’s ‘Pathways’ Is Helping Him Show It

Eight-year-old Jared Teel-Drayton hops into the room, hands flapping, eyes darting, smile alight. He’s been painting—his class went to the art room today—and his teacher, Farida Mallah, patiently combs through a plastic drawer for a clean tee-shirt, which he dons happily. It’s his favorite one, navy blue with the word “grit” stenciled in front, usually awarded as a prize. Jared’s got something special, and it’s not just a new tee-shirt. “Can you tuck it in?” …

What Does the New Camden Teacher Union President Think About Superintendent Rouhanifard? Hold Onto Your Hat!

Keith Benson, newly-elected President of the Camden Education Association, must be terrified. Over the last five years Camden public schoolchildren increased their graduation rate by 21 percent, up from 49 percent to 70 percent, and their academic growth has outpaced their peers in the rest of the state. Schools are safer. Families are, at last, hopeful about the city school system. And, after a revolving door of superintendents — 13 in the last 20 years …

Let’s Play a Guessing Game

There is a sector of schools in New Jersey that rigorously creams off top-performing students, provides little (if any) support for students with disabilities, doesn’t backfill (accept students to fill open spots when students leave), increases segregation, and is paid for by a combination of tax dollars and tuition payments from traditional district schools. If you get your state education news from NJEA, Education Law Center, or Save Our Schools-NJ, then you would most  likely …

Do All Schools Rise? They Do In Newark!

On Thursday I attended College Signing Day at North Star, one of Newark’s best public charter schools. But someone beat them to the punch. On May 1st, Newark Public Schools inaugurated its first annual district-wide College Decision Day. where  each member of the 2017 NPS senior class who has committed to attending college this upcoming fall was celebrated by peers, teachers, administrators, and Superintendent Chris Cerf. “Today is a remarkable moment in the educational journey …

Road Trip for Responders to David Leonhardt’s Charter/Voucher Editorial!

Last week David Leonhardt wrote an editorial in the New York Times that looks at two types of school choice, public charter schools and voucher programs, that, he says, are often conflated into a “misleading caricature.”  Several days after his column ran, the Times published seven Letters to the Editor that mostly succumb to the very caricature that Leonhardt warns against. While Leonhardt indulges in  a few over-generalizations himself, it’s worth picking apart several of …